There is no better teacher in life than experience. Hence, the reason I believe for the wild experience of new legislators being compelled to participate in legislative leadership elections less than 48 hours after being elected.
Even as election results were coming in on Tuesday night, I began to recieve numerous calls from supporters but also candidates who were running for leadeship positions within the House of Representatives. What adds an even more interesting element to this is that no one in government expected us to win. We were a complete upset victory which meant that leadership candidates, except for perhaps three, had mostly ignored our campaign until election night. Our victory threw the political calculus of the leadership elections back into uncertainty.
Thus, the phone calls began. It became clear after Wednesday that there were two camps vying for power in the House of Representatives. Each made compelling arguments for there case. Adding difficulty to the vote was that I like and respect those that presented their names for consideration. Still, it was difficult to make a decision with such little information and history to work from. Nevertheless, we cast our ballots.
What we witnessed after the ballots were cast was a surprising transition in power from side of the room to the other as both factions opted to sit on opposite sides of the room from each other. The disappointment from the vanquished party was palpable. The satisfaction from the parties who pushed for this shift was unmistakable.
It was quite an event and I leaned more about politics in two days than I have in the past two years.